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Learn how to apply and meet admission requirements for the Anesthesiology Residency Program at The University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Chief Resident's Letter

Welcome to the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of New Mexico! Thank you for your interest in our program. As chief resident, I am familiar with the program's many strengths, and I would like to share some of my insights with you.

UNM Hospital is home to the state’s only Level 1 Trauma Center with busy trauma services in Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Acute Care Surgery.  We are exposed to a high volume of complex cases including advanced laparoscopic surgery, pediatric and neonatal surgery, vascular surgery, burn and plastic surgery as well as thoracic and cardiac surgery. In addition, we are a tertiary referral center for high risk obstetric patients with complex maternal-fetal comorbidities. We rotate through multiple locations including UNM hospital, the VA hospital, OSIS (Outpatient Surgery and Imaging Services), SRMC (Sandoval Regional Medical Center), and other affiliated hospitals for elective rotations.

During the OSIS rotations, residents quickly become proficient in peripheral and neuraxial blocks for outpatient surgical procedures. Our Acute Pain Service provides regional anesthesia for thoracic, abdominal, obstetric, orthopedic and vascular cases as well as providing consultation for perioperative cases. Our chronic pain rotation provides interdisciplinary training in all aspects of Pain Medicine, including interventional, medical, and multimodal approaches. Residents also can choose to do elective away rotations in UCSD, Houston Methodist, and Arizona for additional Cardiac and ICU experience. Our department provides housing and travel expenses for away rotations.

Your anesthesia education will begin with one-on-one guidance from senior residents and faculty with increasing amounts of autonomy as you progress through your training, thereby preparing you to become a confident and independent consulting anesthesiologist. Through a structured system, we ensure every resident feels supported, either by a senior resident or by our friendly and approachable faculty. We have a one-on-one mentorship system that allows seniors and faculty to guide juniors through residency, research opportunities, and planning for the future.

Lastly, let me tell you about Albuquerque. You will find that New Mexico, the “Land of enchantment,” has a lot to offer with more than 300 clear, sunny days throughout the year. Albuquerque has miles of well-organized mountain and road biking trails throughout the city. Northern New Mexico is home to beautiful high alpine lakes, fly fishing, white water rafting, and world class skiing at Taos Ski Valley to name a few. Take a hike up to Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest peak at 13,161 feet, or drive south to our state’s largest lake, Elephant Butte. Whatever you choose, you’ll discover New Mexico offers some of the best outdoor recreation in the Southwest.

In summary, if you are looking for comprehensive clinical training in a highly supportive and familial environment with affordable living, endless outdoor activities and great year-round weather, UNMH is the right place for you.

Please feel free to contact me; I am delighted to answer any questions you may have about our program.

Lia Hoffner, MD
Chief Resident